Rhino horns case gets Canadian man 2 1/2 years in US prison

A black dehorned rhinoceros walks on August 3, 2012 at the Bona Bona Game Reseve, 200 kms southeast of Johannesburg. South Africa has seen a devastating increase in poaching in recent years as black-market demand for rhino horn has grown. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/GettyImages)

NEW YORK  — A Canadian antiques dealer caught in a U.S. crackdown on illegal trafficking in rhinoceros horns has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain announced Xiao Ju Guan’s sentence Wednesday in a Manhattan federal court. The 39-year-old antiques dealer is also known as Tony Guan.

He pleaded guilty last year to attempted smuggling. He admitted he tried to bring two black rhinoceros horns from New York to British Columbia, where he owns an antiques business in Richmond.

Guan says he knew he was violating the law when he sought to smuggle more than $400,000 of rhino horns and sculptures made from elephant ivory and coral.

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